Japanese youth, like everywhere else, are trying to build their future despite the crises that are shaking their world, the latest being the triple disaster of Fukushima. Often considered to be more focused on a personal or even hedonistic life, they surprised the media when a student movement took the floor to criticize the Abe government's security and Self-Defense Forces bills in 2015. The so-called SEALDs movement (Student Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy) was formed some time after the Indigenous or Occupy Wall Street movements, but it shares similar concerns.
Understanding the SEALDs' experience from the perspective of John Dewey's philosophy allows us to highlight once again the dangers that digital technology poses to individuals, the collective and their values.
Anne Gonon, Ph.D. (1991), Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris), is a professor of social sciences at Dôshisha University (Kyoto, Japan). Her work lies at the interface of social and ethical issues, with a particular interest in gender and disaster in contemporary Japan, including (with C. Numata and K. Ochiai, eds) Seikatsu keishiki – kea toshiteno rinri (Forms of Life – Ethics as Care) (Kisazu 2021).
Christian Galan, Ph.D. (1997), Inalco (Paris), is a professor at the Toulouse-Jean Jaurès University and a researcher at the French Institute for Research on East Asia (Inalco/Paris-Cité University/CNRS). He is a specialist in the current Japanese educational system and in the history of education in Japan. His research also focuses on childhood and youth in modern and contemporary Japan, including (with P. Heinrich, eds), Being Young in Super-Aging Japan (Routledge, 2018).
A Note on Japanese Terms Abstract Keywords
Introduction: SEALDs in the Protest Movement Landscape
Part 1: The Wheels Come Off
1 Social Upheaval
2 Japanese Youth and the Crisis
Part 2: The SEALDs Movement
3 Influential Factors
4 Learning by Doing
5 SEALDs in the Japanese Political Landscape
Conclusion: What Next after SEALDs? Appendix 1: Unusual Backgrounds of the First Students to Join SEALDs
Appendix 2: Timeline of the SEALDs Movement
Appendix 3: The SEALDs Manifesto
Students of Japanese Studies across a wide range of disciplines including political studies, sociology, and education; people interested in youth studies; all those studying or interested in international political protest movements.